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  • Series Premiere Date: May 11, 2014
  • Season #: 1 , 2
Penny Dreadful Image
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 229 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: In Victorian London, Vanessa Ives (Eva Green), Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton), and American Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) encounter Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), Dr. Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) and Mina Harker (Olivia Llewellyn) in this psychosexual horror series created by John Logan.
  • Genre(s): Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Suspense
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Jeff Korbelik
    May 12, 2014
    100
    What makes Penny click is the chemistry among the characters, especially the psychic and the gunslinger, who end up seducing the viewer with their seductive encounters. They make you forget this is an action show
  2. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    May 7, 2014
    83
    This John Logan creation promises an intriguing summer pastime, for an eight-week run anyway.
  3. Reviewed by: Sara Smith
    May 9, 2014
    80
    Penny Dreadful is a smart, self-referential Dracula vs. the Wolf-Man vs. Frankenstein concept delivering the scares, chills and laughs that summer TV needs.
  4. Reviewed by: Jeff Jensen
    May 7, 2014
    75
    It's a Frankenstory made with borrowed bits and recycled parts that could evolve into its own vibrant creation.
  5. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    May 9, 2014
    70
    There’s style, B-movie charm, and a few great performances to be found in the bloody heart of Penny Dreadful.
  6. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    May 8, 2014
    70
    The production and period values are outstanding, as is the cast, especially Timothy Dalton as famed African explorer Sir Malcolm Murray.... As creator John Logan moves away from the horror by the Thames and more toward the internal demons that haunt his protagonists, Penny veers toward the overwritten and overwrought. But by then, you may well be in for a pound.
  7. Reviewed by: Lily Moayeri
    May 9, 2014
    40
    Overall, it took Once Upon a Time a season to fall flat; Penny Dreadful does that immediately.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 40
  2. Negative: 3 out of 40
  1. Aug 13, 2014
    10
    I watched all the episodes and I have to say that 'Penny Dreadful' had my attention from the first minute untill the last one. The atmosphereI watched all the episodes and I have to say that 'Penny Dreadful' had my attention from the first minute untill the last one. The atmosphere is absolutely amazing. Eva Green has done a perfect role. A Masterpiece! Expand
  2. Aug 27, 2014
    10
    This is an awesome series. It combines all the dark characters I grew up with. Timothy Dalton adds regality to the show. I simply cannot waitThis is an awesome series. It combines all the dark characters I grew up with. Timothy Dalton adds regality to the show. I simply cannot wait for the 2nd season. 3 thumbs up! Expand
  3. May 12, 2014
    10
    I watched both episodes and if you like sex, violence, horror and a nice period series atmosphere you will like this show. I liked all theI watched both episodes and if you like sex, violence, horror and a nice period series atmosphere you will like this show. I liked all the main characters and it will be fun to watch the various monsters and villains integrate in future episodes. As for the critics, most have it right; yet a few of them want to kill a promising series before it gets up and running. This is a fun TV series, the real horror show is going on in Washington, so if you want to vent negativity you should have more than ample material there if you, or you employer have the guts to cover it. Expand
  4. May 17, 2014
    9
    I love it, I love it, I love it! Great characters, deep. It's easy to connect. And all the blood, and the flesh, and the blood and the fleshI love it, I love it, I love it! Great characters, deep. It's easy to connect. And all the blood, and the flesh, and the blood and the flesh was awesome! They've already killed my favorite character, though :/ :(
    But this could be something realy special!
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  5. Jul 10, 2014
    8
    For some reason i like this tv show, i can't say there is something extra special about it but still it has some kind of magic that mixFor some reason i like this tv show, i can't say there is something extra special about it but still it has some kind of magic that mix together few different plots and story's in something that revolves all the time. It's like an ice cream with pieces of chocolate, nut and something else and you try to figure what that is, well that is my opinion about Penny Dreadful. But let's continue, written by John Logan and directed by James Hawes, you might know John from his other works like Gladiator, The Time Machine, The Last Samurai, Rango, Skyfall…Serie involves some of well known icons that all have there story's and we all watched them, but now they all come together and show us their life that is sometime dark and sometime gray but never bright.

    Plot:

    Story take place in Victorian Britain, in time of Jack the Ripper's murder spree and fast growing industry. Sir Malcom(Timothy Dalton), hardened African explorer is on personal quest to right the wrongs of his past and in his journey he try's to pick special people that will help him. At the beginning of season one at his side is Vanessa Ives played by Eva Green, she is expert medium blessed with supernatural gifts. But her „gifts“ are also heavy burden that threaten to destroy her sanity and life. As episodes progress, they gather more special people around them and first to join was Ethan Chandler(Josh Hartnett) a gunman, on first sight charming and loved by girls but with time his dark side is getting more and more visible, he is running from something from his past and in last episode we discover he is actually warewolf. In most „group“ you need doctor and yup, they got him Dr. Victor Frankenstein(Harry Treadaway), and yes it's same one who created The Beast and in this plot also he is being hunted by creations or better to say creatures that he made with his own hands. Ok, he is not a bad guy, more like mad scientist that want to push limits of science and medicine.

    Now there are some other characters involved but for now not so close to this setup, in this journey trough story we meet also Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney). He is mystery that is fascinated by other mystery's and somehow attracted to Vanessa and yes, if you ask there is love triangle…but i will let you check show, some spoilers need to be skipped here :D. I almost forgot one really hidden character and it is Van Helsing, he is also mixed in story. Penny Dreadful is not a horror or mystery its more like a psychological thriller with elements of horror, mystery, science, action.
    My thought's:

    From watching scenes there is one thing i noticed, all characters are trying to get most of situations they are in, with there acting they put much effort on facial expressions and reading thoughts/emotions from face and body language. I have feeling that each character interaction give me small key of information, usually not noticeable in some TV shows, and with time it shows more and more bigger image and explanation for plot.

    On global scale you could say they are league of extraordinary gentlemen, sound familiar? They meet lot of different beings some of them are demons, vampires, ghosts or just strange freaky people. Penny Dreadful got high scores with critics i also give it a good score and on scale 1-10 it would be 8 because sometime i get feeling plot has no straight way and it's more like dispersed.
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  6. Jun 4, 2014
    5
    I really wanted to like this show. The theme and style are fantastic, I love the vibe and atmosphere that the show gives off. However, theI really wanted to like this show. The theme and style are fantastic, I love the vibe and atmosphere that the show gives off. However, the direction of the show leaves a lot to be desired. A lot of things simply don't make sense. For example, I went for three episodes without realizing that the lead female character (Vanessa Ives) actually wasn't named Penny Dreadful (it's the stereotypical name of a horror tabloid).

    There are a lot of scenes that just don't make a lot of sense. There's multiple scenes that jump to Ives praying, where we see spiders coming out of the walls (likely a hallucination). The fact that Ives and Malcolm trust random strangers off the streets to protect them seems a little dubious, as well. I don't mind suspending disbelief for fantasy elements, but suspending disbelief for how some of these characters behave is just a little too much for me.

    It seems like the show is trying to focus on too many different characters at once. The parts with Dr. Frankenstein are brilliant. The actors that play his creations are great as well. However, when it starts dealing with Dorian Grey, the show kind of loses its voice. He doesn't really seem to belong in the type of sci-fi dealings that are going on.

    The show can't really figure out whether it wants to be a drama, a horror show, a sci-fi show (Frankenstein and his science), or a soft porn flick (Dorian). True Blood worked because it never took itself too seriously, but I"m not sure where this series will go.
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  7. May 16, 2014
    0
    Extremely boring and not thrilling or terrifying .Show is not scary enough maybe kids get scared ,They could have hire decent writer and anExtremely boring and not thrilling or terrifying .Show is not scary enough maybe kids get scared ,They could have hire decent writer and an editor with the money they have spent on Art direction.TV fans don't need this sort of show because there's too many successfull horror shows. Expand

See all 40 User Reviews

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